Letter: Thanks to all who are a part of fair

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2017

This past week, the Freeborn County Fair concluded. Since moving to Freeborn County, I have been impressed by one thing more than any other: the energy and effort that so many young adults and their support systems put into their projects for the fair. Some raise cattle, goats, rabbits, poultry or swine, while others practice photography, sewing, building rockets, building models, restoring furniture or mechanical items.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of the type of projects these individuals demonstrate skill in.

While the projects are often amazing, it is the lessons learned that can’t be equaled.  I have a nephew who partakes in several of these projects, and I get to see firsthand the energy and time he puts into his projects. These projects teach discipline and work ethic of chores throughout the year to the week at the fair that includes early mornings and late evenings — often in less than desirable weather conditions. They learn how to win and lose graciously. They learn how to interact with adults, judges and the public walking through the barns asking questions. They learn priorities, like how to watch their friends run off to ride rides while they walk the animal to a wash stall for the 10th time that week. 

Like anything a child does, it involves many more people.  The parents have as much energy in these projects as the kids. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins all pitch in. Sometimes it’s watching other children during project or showing times, or helping to care for and hauling or moving animals, or supporting financially. The 4-H auction raises many dollars from businesses and supporters that help assist the participants with their future projects or stash a few dollars away for future college expenses. The volunteers who run the rings, the judges, the fair board and the Extension Office staff all could never be thanked enough.

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Thank you to all involved.  This is something special that many of the fairgoers don’t understand and appreciate. I know I have grown watching how this community support these future adults.

Brian Hensley

Albert Lea